Medical card products from major insurance companies in Malaysia are always evolving rapidly, ever-trying to outdo each other to become the best medical insurance in the eyes of consumers . The best in this sense in terms of features and costs; such thing is actually very good for us as policyholders.
The best part of being an industry practitioner, as a licensed, independent financial adviser, is that we are not tied to any insurance company. Meaning, we are not obligated or limited to only recommend 1 single product which we represent like an insurance agent. Clients literally adore us for being able to source & compare objectively – the best life and health insurance products which suit their needs without being pushy to fulfill sales quote like a tied agent.
Get 3 shortlisted medical card quotations like below, plus, advice on how to buy one
1) Comparison table of the Allianz, AIA, Great Eastern, Manulife & Prudential Medical Insurance
note: flip your mobile device horizontally for best viewing or use at least an iPad mini to view the comparison table
|Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote|
|Product name||A Plus Med||Medisafe Infinite||SmartMedic Xtra 99||ManuMedic Link+||PruValueMed||Smart Medi 2.0|
|Rider or Standalone||Rider||Rider||Rider||Rider||Rider||Standalone|
|Death & TPD amount (RM)||19,000||103,000||12,000||10,000||10,000||0|
|Cover up to age||100||91||99||99||90||80|
|Room & Board (R&B) rate RM||300||300||300||As Charged||300||350|
|R&B/ICU Days per year||120||150||180||No limit||90||No limit|
|Pre & Post Hospitalization days per year||60/120||90/90||60/90||60/90||60/90||31/60|
|Co payment for R&B upgrade||No||20% of eligible benefits, limited to RM 1,000 per disability||No||10% of eligible benefits, subject to minimum RM 350 but limited to RM 1,500 per disability||No||20% of eligible benefits, no limit|
|Outpatient cancer treatment RM||900,000 per lifetime, shared w/ outpatient kidney dialysis||Per AL & LL||Per AL & LL||700,000 per lifetime||1.5 million per lifetime, shared w/ outpatient kidney dialysis||156,000 per year|
|Outpatient kidney dialysis RM||900,000 per lifetime, shared w/ outpatient cancer treatment||Per AL & LL||Per AL & LL||700,000 per lifetime||1.5 million per lifetime, shared w/ outpatient cancer treatment||156,000 per year|
|Outpatient stroke RM||No||No||No||700,000 per lifetime||No||No|
|Outpatient dengue treatment RM||3,000 per event||Per AL & LL||No||700,000 per lifetime||No||No|
|Outpatient alternative treatment RM||10,000||3,000 per year, subject to 300/day & 1 visit/day within 30 days discharge from hospital||No||No||No||No|
|Outpatient co insurance||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Annual limit (AL) RM||1.5 million||1.2 million||1.6 million||No limit||No limit||No limit; per disability limit of 650,000|
|Lifetime limit (LL) RM||No limit||No limit||No limit||1.65 million||No limit, but total claim amount exceeding Med Value Point of RM 1 million will be subject to 20% co-insurance||No limit|
|No claim bonus||5% increase in Initial AL every 2 years for 20 years and remain level thereafter, if total claim amount < RM 5k during the immediate preceding 2 years; 20% increase in Initial R&B every 2 years for 10 years and remain level thereafter, if no claim during the immediate preceding 2 years||10% increase in Initial R&B every 3 years of no claim, up to 150% of Initial R&B||10% increase in Initial AL every 3 years of no claim||No||2% increase in the initial Med Value Point every 2 years, if no claim, up to Med Value point being exceeded||10% increase in Initial R&B & per disability limit every 3 years, unconditionally and without any limit|
|Coverage extend to||Singapore, Brunei||Singapore, Brunei||n.a.||n.a.||n.a.||n.a.|
|Annual premium (RM)||3,920||3,000||3,400||3,600||5,100||1,462|
|What feature you want to compare?||?||?||?||?||?||?|
*Less popular health insurance products from Hong Leong Assurance, AmMetLife, AXA-Affin, Zurich, MCIS and Tokio Marine are omitted from comparison.
2) Best medical insurance in Malaysia - is it Allianz medical card?
Allianz medical card commentary
- Reimburses the charges incurred for alternative treatments such as Chiropractic, Chiropody, Homeopathy, Osteopathy and Acupuncture up to one (1) visit per day, within thirty (30) days from the hospital
- The best thing about Allianz medical card (Medisafe Infinite Xtra) is that it extends coverage treatment in Singapore, following Reasonable & Customary Charges in Singapore. (MediSafe Infinite covers treatment in Singapore but following Reasonable & Customary Charges equivalent to local treatment in Malaysia.) Also, with Medisafe Infinite Xtra, there is no co-payment if you are hospitalised at a Room & Board which is higher than your eligible benefit. You only bear the difference in the upgraded room & board charges.
- Another best thing about Allianz medical card is that it specifically states, in the quotation, to include consultation, examination tests and take home drugs for outpatient treatments.
- It also has the highest combination of pre & post hospitalization coverage.
- The co-payment clause is an disadvantage but we feel this is no big deal as it is capped at maximum RM 1,000.
- Given that the premium is the lowest among other medical card riders, this is the best value for money.
- There is a lower plan known as MediEssential (with annual limit which is a divider factor of 10 and a hard lifetime limit).
3) Best medical insurance in Malaysia - is it AIA medical card?
AIA medical card commentary
- The medical insurance base plan A-Plus Med has been enhanced with A-Plus Med Booster
- It provides coverage for Alternative treatments, specifically Physiotherapy and Acupuncture Treatment (per Policy Year and within 60 days after hospitalization)
- There is also provision for Organ/Bone Marrow transplant (receiver's coverage only) - as charged, subject to Reasonable and Customary Charges up to Overall Annual Limit.
- Singapore & Brunei are not considered as overseas medical insurance coverage (which is good!)
- It also provides Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation up to USD 1 mil (do not mistakenly think this is international health insurance coverage)
- The one thing which we don’t like is the shared limit for outpatient kidney dialysis and cancer treatment and the limit is furthermore capped per lifetime. This is despite it having the 2nd highest annual limit among all medical cards compared.
- We also don’t like it only has 120 days of Hospital confinement days in a year, the lowest compared to other medical cards.
4) Best medical insurance in Malaysia - is it Great Eastern medical card?
Great Eastern medical card commentary
- The base plan SmartMedic Xtra has been enhanced with SmartMedic Xtra 99 and Smart Extender 99
- The base version of SmartMedic still has co-insurance & co-insurance clauses and coverage age is limited to age 80 if not added with Smart Extender 99.
- It has the highest number of hospital confinement days - 180
- Overall, we opined that it's an average medical card which ranks in the middle among its peers.
5) Best medical insurance in Malaysia - is it Manulife medical card?
Manulife medical card commentary
- The base product, Manumedic, with limited annual limit has been enhanced with Manumedic+.
- Technically, Manulife Room & Board rate is in a class of its own because after R&B 250, the next Room & Board rate is titled “As Charged”.
- What it means by this is that if you are in “As Charged” R&B rate, you are entitled for the amount for reimbursement is limited up to 2 basic categories of Single-bedded Room available in the hospital.
- This mean it is inflation-proof to a certain extent because you are guaranteed a single room no matter what in the future.
- The good: No limit on the number of annual confinement days and high annual limit of RM 1.6 million, plus having outpatient stroke coverage which none other medical card in comparison has this benefit.
- The bad: The outpatient treatments are capped at RM 700k for each per lifetime. There is a (albeit) reasonably high lifetime limit of RM 1.65 million.
6) Best medical insurance in Malaysia - is it Prudential medical card?
Prudential medical card commentary
- Prudential medical card does not use the the term annual limit or lifetime limit. Instead, it replaces them with this - Med Value Point.
- Med Value Point is defined as - if th total claims that exceed the stipulated Med Value Point amount, the Prudential will still be liable to pay 80% of the total cost of the eligible benefit while policyholder bear the remaining 20%.
- Prudential also has another 2 older medical card range - PruHealth and PruFlexi Medi, on top of PruMedicOverseas providing coverage in Singapore, Hong Kong and China.
- The good: Has the capability to customize the hospital room & board rate and Med Value Point (1, 1.5 or 2 million). It also has has an optional co-insurance like feature, called Med Saver, which policyholder needs to pay RM 300 co-insurance for every medical admission. For objective comparison, we remove this co-insurance feature. Finally, the no co-payment clause is always welcomed.
- The bad: Evidently, the price, especially with Med Saver feature removed! Comparing Med Value point with annual limit, it is on par depending on your choice. However, comparing Med Value Point with lifetime limit, it loses out slightly because other medical cards have no lifetime limit while PruValueMed only covers 80% of the eligible benefit exceeding Med Value Point.
7) Comparison table of the Allianz, Great Eastern & Prudential Deductible Medical Insurance
note: flip your mobile device horizontally for best viewing or use at least an iPad mini to view the comparison table
|Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote|
|Product name||Mediaide||PruValueMed Deductible||SmartMedi Deductible||Smart Extender Max|
|Rider or Standalone||Rider||Rider||Standalone||Rider|
|Death & TPD amount (RM)||43,000||10,000||0||33,000|
|Cover up to age||81||80||80||80|
|Room & Board (R&B) rate RM||300||300||350||300|
|R&B/ICU Days||50 days per confinement||90 days per year||No limit||180 days per year|
|Pre & Post Hospitalization days per year||31/60||60/90||31/60||60/180|
|Deductible amount RM||30,000||20,000||5,000||150,000|
|Co payment for R&B upgrade||Not applicable before age 55; 20% of eligible benefits, capped at RM 1k after age 55||Not applicable||20% of eligible benefits, no limit||Not applicable|
|Outpatient cancer treatment RM||Per AL & LL||1.5 million per lifetime, shared w/ outpatient kidney dialysis||36,000 per year||Per AL & LL|
|Outpatient kidney dialysis RM||Per AL & LL||1.5 million per lifetime, shared w/ outpatient cancer treatment||36,000 per year||Per AL & LL|
|Outpatient stroke RM||20,000 per year||No||No||No|
|Outpatient dengue treatment RM||No||No||No||No|
|Outpatient alternative treatment RM||20,000 per year !||No||No||No|
|Outpatient co insurance||No||No||No||No|
|Annual limit (AL) RM||150,000||No limit||450,000; 150,000 per disability||1.5 million|
|Lifetime limit (LL) RM||1.5 million||No limit, but total claim amount exceeding Med Value Point of RM 1 million will be subject to 20% co-insurance||No limit||No limit|
|No claim bonus||n.a.||2% increase in the initial Med Value Point every 2 years, if no claim, up to Med Value point being exceeded||10% increase in Initial R&B & per disability limit every 3 years, unconditionally and without any limit||No|
|Coverage extend to||Singapore, Brunei||n.a.||n.a.||n.a.|
|Annual premium (RM)||1,200||1,200||973||1,200|
|What feature you want to compare?||?||?||?||?|
*Less popular deductible health insurance products from Hong Leong Assurance & AmMetLife are omitted from comparison.
8) Best deductible medical card in Malaysia - which one?
Best deductible medical card in Malaysia - which one is it?
Not having a full medical card after retirement could potentially be deadlier than the silent killer – inflation, when it actually hits. I’ve talked to individuals in their fifties who admitted to me they overlooked of getting their own medical card when they were in employment. Then, just before the mandatory retirement, it struck them – nobody is going to cover his post retirement medical bills.
If you are reading this, then I don’t want this to happen to you. Yet, I know what you are thinking – you probably don’t want to get a redundant medical card while you are covered by your company.
If this is your concern, then Second Medical Card aka Deductible aka Top Up medical card is the best for you. See below
When you are employed before age 55:
It could well be a good complement to your company-provided group medical card.
For example, if your company medical card coverage is RM 30k/year, you could get a RM 30k deductible medical card, with minimum premium (RM 1,200). Which means, only RM 30k and above medical expenses will be covered by this second card. (by the way, the deductible amount is configurable from RM 2k up to RM 30k)
When you retire after age 55:
Allianz deductible medical card is clearly the best medical card range here because it is auto-convertible to a full medical card at retirement age – 55. This feature beats out all others without retirement conversion options - Prudential, Great Eastern and Lonpac.
What it means, when you reach age 55, this health insurance will convert to become a zero deductible card – which means any medical expenses can be charged under this card – at the time when your company medical insurance coverage ceases. This happens without needing you to prove your health condition at age 55. Besides, it also has:
- Reasonable co-payment clause capped at RM 1,000
- Coverage for outpatient stroke treatment and outpatient physiotherapy treatment
- Coverage extends to Singapore & Brunei (reimbursement basis).
Cheap? Yes. Peace of mind when you retire? Absolutely.
9) Understand basic medical card terminologies and why you must get the best health insurance for yourself
The intricacies of the best medical insurance is not to be underestimated if you plan to retire in Malaysia for long term. Since health insurance, just like any other insurance, is essentially an unilateral contract, knowing the terms and conditions of your medical coverage is absolutely critical.
To prevent the hassle of dispute with the insurer on what it is not covered or reimbursable when you thought they are covered.
Otherwise, nasty situation like this may happen.
The other health insurance features you definitely want to take note on are:
- Daily Room & Board rate – determines the type of hospital room you can choose to stay in without topping up the difference. It is very normal to go for a minimum RM 200 R&B nowadays, which could be a twin-sharing room. If you want basic single room or above, a R&B of RM 300 and above is recommended. Upgrading R&B rate higher than what you are entitled for in your health insurance policy may trigger a certain co-payment clause in the insurance contract. This render you needing to share a certain percentage of the total medical bill with the insurer, aside from paying the difference in room & board rate.
- Lifetime Limit (if any) – specifies the limited sum of medical expenses which can be exhausted throughout the duration of health insurance coverage.
- Annual Limit (if any) – specifies the limited sum of medical expenses which can be exhausted within any 1 policy year as long as the health insurance is in-force.
- As charged – covers hospitalization expenses which are deemed medically necessary, and as per reasonable and customary charges according to the schedule set by MMA (Malaysian Medical Association). If a medical procedure was being overcharged by hospital, then you need to top up the difference of amount for which the insurer doesn’t cover.
- Last entry age – the last age where you can buy a medical insurance policy. Normally it could be at 60, 65 or 70.
Also, do you agree that medical costs will carry one or more of the characteristics below:
- Most unexpected
- Most unavoidable
- Possibly long term & recurring
- Most impactful to retirement nest egg
How impactful, you asked?
For minor condition like cataract or appendicitis, the cost of such treatments may hardly dent your retirement nest egg. But what if major conditions like below hit you?
Medical costs have escalated around the world and this is no different in Malaysia. Medical inflation averages about 10% each year and is projected to rise due to advancement in medical technology.
10) Review of Smart Medi 2.0 Lonpac standalone medical card
Generally, it is not recommended to change a medical card which we already have. However, at a rare occurence, a product comes along - so disruptive and competitive that we just can't ignore it - and hence it could justify a switch over if you are still insurable and are able to get the same/better policy terms & coverage - at a cheaper price. This is what I am going to share with you today - Smart Medi 2.0 underwritten by Lonpac Insurance.
You may not have heard of Lonpac Insurance but it is a wholly owned subsidiary of LPI Capital, a public listed company in KLSE since 1993. It was registered as an approved insurer on 9 April 1963 under the Malaysian Insurance Act, 1963.
LPI Capital, as the associate company with common directors as Public Bank, is helmed by the one and only Tan Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow as its Chairman.
By the way, I don't think I need to stress the importance of having a medical card even if you are employed and your employer provides for you. Look at cost of medical procedures here.
A) Medical card that provides annual health screen tests
Most people want to fake an unnecessary 1 day hospital admission just to undergo health screening tests at hospitals. Truly, it is not recommended to do so because minor 'claims' like this will raise red flags in the eyes of your insurer when you need to upgrade your medical card benefits in the future. Not to mention it is unethical to do so - doctors who are doing this included. Therefore, anyone who have done this before or are thinking of doing this, you don't have too because Smart Medi 2.0 gives you a complimentary comprehensive health screening test.
We like the concept of prevention advocated by this medical card, especially when it also includes cancer marker tests.
B) Medical card with no alterations of policy clause
This is a huge one, albeit pretty self explanatory. Check your medical card policy fine prints. Only 1 existing insurer dare to put 'no alterations of policy' clause in its policy, but this insurer medical products cost a bomb relative to its peers. Hint - you never see this company medical card being taken as the group medical card for SMEs or multinational companies.
Smart Medi 2.0 by Lonpac is another rare one to have this clause which benefits us as policyholders.
C) Medical card with built in cash allowance for private hospital
It is customary for a medical card to pay a daily allowance for confinement in government hospital. Cash allowance for confinement in private hospital is an add-on feature which costs extra premium costs. See what I mean below - a standard clause in any medical cards in Malaysia.
Smart Medi 2.0, on the other hand, provides RM 500 per day for hospitalization even in private hospitals; starting for 3rd days onwards.
D) Medical card with unlimited days a year, even in ICU
We don't hope this will ever happen, but if it does, you'll have no concern in this area. Here's how most medical cards benefits are structured when it comes to number of days in normal room & ICU.
This is how Smart Medi 2.0 benefit is structured.
E) Medical card with high annual limit & no lifetime limit
No lifetime limit is nothing to shout about really since the past 2 years; AIA medical card products have been having this feature aeons ago. The annual limit is the one that matters because it 'resets' every policy year. Selected few medical card in the market now have NO annual limit while some already going into the path of offering High annual limit which almost corresponds to their lifetime limit, if any. Therefore, an annual limit of RM 650,000 is above average if you ask me.
F) Medical card with most, if not all hospitals
Check if any of the private hospitals are near your place of residence.
G) Medical card with minimum RM 350 room & board
As of today (2016), a room & board of RM 350 can easily land you in private room. For those who don't like sharing.
H) Medical card with auto upgrade benefits
This is also a crucial feature when we get older and no longer as 'insurable' as before, but medical inflation keeping up with time. I'd say this is pretty standard relative to its competitors, any medical card nowadays which does not have this feature is a deal breaker for most people.
By the way, for Smart Medi 2.0, it is 10% every 3 years for room & board and annual limit, illustrated below.
I) Medical card with discount for family plan
Normal so called 'family plan' when it comes to medical card only extends coverage to spouse and children.
However, for Smart Medi 2.0, this extends to parents and parents in law as well. Pretty nifty. Last entry age is age 70 though.
J) Medical card with affordable annual premium
This is a snapshot of Smart Medi 2.0 compared to other of its peers in the market, refer to the rightmost column. Shown without GST.
And as all medical cards in the market, annual premium is not guaranteed. See below
Bear in mind that this is a standalone or term medical card, whereby the annual premium is set to increase every 10 years age band (other medical card every 5 years).
Watch below for the difference between a medical card rider and a term medical card, or read it here -
About the Author
CF Lieu is an independent financial adviser (IFA) with CFP qualification and licensed by the Securities Commission of Malaysia to conduct regulated financial planning activities and charge a professional fee for it.
Click Here to access a Public Register of License Holders, then search under Representatives – “Lieu Ching Foo”
CF Lieu is also listed under Featured CFP Professionals in his professional association website – FPAM (Financial Planning Association of Malaysia). Only advisers with the highest calibre and credibility are displayed under this list.
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